© Hermann Wendler

Rendez-vous Musical #33

On Sunday, November 26, the Harriet Hale Wooley scholars and musicians in residence invite you to a special Rendez-vous Musical, dedicated to the Quatuor pour la Fin des Temps composed by Olivier Messiaen (45 min).

As explained by Claude Samuel in his book Permanences d’Olivier Messiaen : dialogues et commentaires, Messiaen composed his Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps while he was a prisonner in Germany during WWII. Inspired by the Saint John Apocalypse and in honour of the Angel announcing the end of Time, this piece with a strong spiritual message is particularly appreciated for its “poetic quality, its modest expression and its fine tones”. The “Time” refers to the rhythm, a crucial element in the author’s work, and in theology.


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001 (arr. for viola in C minor)
II. Fugue
Jossalyn Jensen, viola

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)
Quatuor pour la fin du temps
I.  Liturgie de cristal
II. Vocalise, pour l’Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
III. Abîme des oiseaux
IV. Intermède
V. Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus
VI. Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
VII. Fouillis d’arcs-en-ciel, pour l’Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
VIII. Louange à l’Immortalité de Jésus
Sarah Ghandour, cello, Jenny Maclay, clarinet, Bilal Alnemr, violin, Orlando Bass, piano

About the Musicians

Sarah Clarice Ghandour, an honored recipient of a full five year scholarship, graduated May 2017 from Bard College and Conservatory with a Bachelor of Art in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance, having studied under Cellist Peter Wiley.  An avid chamber musician, Sarah has collaborated with artists including Peter Wiley, Peter Serkin, Daniel Phillips, and Dawn Upshaw.  As principal cellist of the Bard Conservatory Orchestra, she has performed in New York, Eastern Europe, Russia, and most recently in Cuba, including collaboration with Camerata Romeu, a female Cuban string orchestra.  Sarah was a finalist in the 2016 Bard Conservatory Concerto Competition, and in May 2017 had the pleasure of performing the Korngold Cello Concerto with The Orchestra Now. Following her study in the Fall of 2015 at the American University of Paris, and cello studies with Xavier Gagnepain, Conservatoire Boulogne-Billancourt, Sarah had the distinct pleasure of performing the Rachmaninoff Sonata for Piano and Cello, and the Brahms Clarinet Trio, at the Royal Castle of Warsaw, Poland on invitation by Bard Conservatory.  Sarah has also delighted in participating in Music at Menlo, Yellow Barn, and Encore String Quartet Intensive Summer Chamber Music Festivals.  After her 2017-2018 artist residency at the Fondation des États-Unis in Paris, France, Sarah will pursue a master’s degree at Stony Brook University, New York, under the tutelage of cellist Colin Carr.

Jossalyn Jensen, American violist, began playing music at the age of four. Her solo debut with orchestra was at the age of 9 and she has since appeared in concert across the United States and in Europe. She completed her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music and The Juilliard School where she was a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Artist Award. Ms. Jensen continues post-graduate work in Paris, France at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique and as a Fellow at the Fondation des États Unis. She was honored to spend her summer this year in the academies of the Verbier Festival and the Lucerne Festival. She is a laureate of the 2016-2017 Fulbright Grant.

Vandoren Regional Artist Jenny Maclay is quickly establishing her career as a clarinet soloist, recitalist, orchestral player, and chamber musician. Ms. Maclay was the recipient of a 2015-2016 Harriet Hale Woolley Award to study music in Paris, where she attends the Versailles Conservatoire. She has achieved a number of notable musical honors, including selection as a semi-finalist and finalist for such international competitions as Astral Artists and Concert Artists Guild. Her teachers are Philippe Cuper, Mitchell Estrin, and Donald Dowdy.

Orlando Bass is a student at the CNSMD in Paris since 2013, where he was first accepted in a writing class, then in 2014 in the accompaniment class and in 2015 in the piano and improvisation classes. He obtained in 2014 his prize for harmony and counterpoint, in 2015 the fugue. He already performed in several festivals as a pianist and harpsichordist and also plays jazz and improvised music.

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